SME Setup With Slotted Headshell

I have an SME M2-12R but I've switched to a Fidelity Research FR-S/3 headshell for added mass. I have a Feickert protractor on the way. Do I just set up like a regular tonearm since I've done away with the fixed headshell? Set the pivot to spindle and then adjust the cartridge in the headshell to the protractor?
Yes you could I would set the distance from pivot to turntable center 295.60 mm as it says in the manual and use the slots to get to the optimum setting for your preferred aligment, baerwald etc.
I would set the P2S according to SME’s specification by moving the arm on its "sled" mounting, and then adjust the cartridge overhang and offset angle by moving it in the headshell slots. This approach is consistent with other tonearms.

Brian Walsh
Hi dhcod. The three important variables here are effective tonearm length, overhang and offset angle. The sliding head shell is a great addition. There is no industry standard for stylus position in space relative to the mounting holes. If you use a fixed head shell every cartridge will give you a different effective length! With a slotted shell you usually can adjust this perfectly. You can make yourself a gauge, pivot to stylus. The little pyramid on top of that gorgeous tonearm indicates the pivot center and the spec for effective length should be in the manual obviously somewhere around 12 inches. After this all you need to do is set the overhang by sliding the arm back and forth in the base the spec for which should also be in the manual. All you need to do is make another jig spindle to overhang. The SME base is an absolute classic. Every arm should have one. I adapt Kuzma's version for every arm I use. 
This sets up the arm to Lofgren A (Baerwald). If you want to get fancy and use other alignments a jig that allows you to do this will be needed. 
I have not used the Feickert so I am not sure what it will do. I use DB systems another classic. It gives you a cross between Lofgren A and Uni Din and is very accurate because it magnifies the error. I would like to try Lofgren B which is Mike Fremer's favorite. I think I can modify the DB system jig to do this but just have not got around to it. I would love to know if the Feickert gives you the ability to easily swap alignments. If it does I would get one in a heart beat.  Any one out there know of a gauge that does?? 
Thanks for this. Very helpful. The Feickert has three alignment possibilities, Baerwald (B), Lofgren (L) or Stevenson (S). The only problem for me in this case is that it won't work with a Decca cartridge because that cartridge doesn't have a cantilever and the lines on the Feickert are too narrow to see under the wide cartridge body. So it goes back.
That is highly unfortunate. Great cartridge for that tone arm! It's going to sound great. Most Protractors use LofgrenA. Mike Fremer prefers Lofgren B. I don't know anyone who likes Stevenson. It improves  distortion at the end of the record and gives significantly higher distortion levels everywhere else. Uni Din is a cross between A and B
If you make the two jigs, effective length and overhang, you will need nothing else as long as you are happy staying with Lofgren A which I am pretty sure is what SME uses. Otherwise you could just set your effective length then use the DB systems protractor. It is very accurate but is a bit finicky to use at first till you understand what it is doing. You'll just have to slide the base back and forth till you get it lined up right and as I said earlier it magnifies the error so it is easier to get it right on. 
Actually, for all you alignment jockeys, you can use a DB system protractor to set any alignment. I was just staring at my DB systems protractor. It is a Lofgren A (Baerwald) protractor BUT you can photo copy the opaque card of the protractor, laminate it to cardboard, punch out the spindle holes and draw any null points on it you want. They are: Lofgren A 66 and 120.9 mm, Lofgren B 70.3 and 116.6 mm, Uni Din 63.3 and 112.5 mm and Stevenson 60.325 and 117.42 mm. How much fun can you have on a Sunday? Happy squinting dhcod
Luckily I set the pivot to spindle before I sent back the SME so I can use the DB protector. I also found an Accutrak arc protractor that I had ordered a while ago and never used. I'm going to play with that and then decide whether to order the DB. It's actually starting to sound darn nice just using the little paper protector that came with the Decca. Lots of options!